Charlie Bothuell V, the Detroit boy who went missing for 11 days last summer before being found in his parents’ basement, testified at a hearing Tuesday that his home was a “terrible place.”
Now 13, Charlie alleges he was viciously abused by his father Charles Bothuell IV and stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell. At the hearing, which will determine whether the couple will go to trial on charges of torture and child abuse, Charlie told prosecutors that he was disciplined with a pipe, according to CBS News.
He also spoke about his rigorous workout routine, which reportedly consisted of 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and 100 jumping jacks, as well as curling a 25-pound weight on each arm and doing 5,000 revolutions on an elliptical trainer. If he didn’t finish, Charlie said he was beaten.
“I would get whooped on the butt, and sometimes on the sides it hurt,” the young boy testified. “I told [my dad], ‘Please stop.’ ”
He said that while it was his father who usually beat him, sometimes his stepmother would join in. “She would punch me, and I got choked once,” Charlie said.
Bothuell IV was on live television with Nancy Grace when his son was discovered hiding in his basement. “I’m shocked. I looked. The Detroit police looked. The FBI looked,” he told reporters later. “To imply that I knew my son was in the basement is absurd.”
Attorneys for Bothuell IV and Dillard-Bothuell insist that their clients are innocent and say that Charlie is a liar.
But Charlie said Tuesday that he was so depressed living with his father and stepmother that he tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrist, The Detroit News reports. “I just wanted to go home to my mom,” he said. “It was just a terrible place to be.”
Charlie saw his biological mother on weekends, but claimed that he “didn’t feel comfortable” telling her about the abuse he was enduring. “I just didn’t think anything would change,” he said.
Charlie will take the stand again on May 6 when the hearing continues.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.